Complex deformation structures form in the cooling crust of flowing basaltic lavas. These include folds, shear zones and other structures that are common in tectonically deformed terranes. Our experiments provide an opportunity to investigate these features as they form.

Fold Wavelength Study: Folds in the crust of pahoehoe lava may provide insights into the viscosity of the crust relative to the viscous core of the flow.

Fold Spectum Study: An example of photogrammetric 3D models of pahoehoe lava flows from the SU lava project. Digitized topography of the lava surface can be profiled and analyzed using Fourier transform to reveal a power spectrum of the complexly folded crust. (James Farrell, 2017)

Microstructures: Shearing in flow-banded lavas show microstructures that are analogous to those that form in deformed metamorphic and plutonic rocks.